When Paine’s Park opened in late May, skaters rejoiced. Local residents, however, don’t seem to notice nor think its attraction has a negative impact on the neighborhood.
“I think it’s good for the city to have it,” said Doug Gordon, who lives on the 2400 block of Fairmount Avenue. “I don’t think it affects the neighborhood at all. We are probably people who will not be offended by skaters on this block.”
Gordon’s block was a space where skateboarders used to skate the multiple ledges and railings found in the plaza on the other side of the street.
“They had to put a sign up, ‘no skating.’ It was improper. It wasn’t for that purpose,” said Fairmount Avenue resident Ruth Stewart.
Franklin’s Paine Skatepark Fund began working on plans for the park in 2002 which cost $4.6 million to complete. The organization designed the park as a space it believes serves as a “dialogue between skateboarding, landscape architecture and city planning.”
The park’s opening has made it a new tourist attraction for skaters and non-skaters alike to the neighboring and heavily visited Museum District. However, residents like Stewart are optimistic about the park’s future in the neighborhood.
“The city built it and it’s really being used, so that’s good. I’m glad it’s there, that’s a big plus for the neighborhood,” Stewart said.